Best German Bank Account

German bank account (Girokonto), also called checking account or current account, is one of the first things a foreigner or expat has to open when moving to Germany. The article lists the best German bank accounts in Germany. We understand that as a newcomer, too much information is not always beneficial and can just cause additional confusion. Therefore, a quick guide to bank account in Germany gives you the recommendations for the best bank account for a newcomer in Germany.

How to select the best German bank account

Before opening a German bank account you must know the different things to consider in order to select the best German bank account for you. The best German bank account for a foreigner depends on the on two important broad questions

  1. Do you receive a monthly income which will be deposited in the bank account?
  2. Do you need an internet bank or a brick-and-mortar branch?

You can also read the detailed article on factors to consider to select a bank account.

Banks with physical branches charge the maintenance fees for the German bank account, which can be avoided if there is a regular credit into the account, such as a salary.  On the other hand, Internet bank, also called an online bank, are normally free and also provide the most value-added service. Depending on the criteria, the bank accounts are distinguished into two categories

  1. Internet banks
  2. Brick-n-mortar branch accounts

Internet banks

These banks provide free bank account without any conditions (no monthly deposit needed). If you will not be paid monthly, or if you want a free bank account without any conditions then following are the best German bank accounts. These below bank accounts are without conditions therefore, you can still open them even if you get a monthly salary.

DKB – Cash

This is one of the best bank accounts in Germany. The main advantages are free Visa card with free worldwide cash withdrawal and a possibility to earn interest on the deposit (for active members). However, it is selective in accepting clients, especially non-German speakers. But if you have lived in Germany for a long time and have a decent credit rating you can try to open an account here.

Apply to DKB Bank

Warning : Do not apply if you are a foreigner with a limited residence permit and new to Germany. Since it requires a good credit history in Germany, your application may be refused. Try N26 instead.

N26 – Mobile Bank

New to the banking space, N26 (formerly called Number 26) provides the most modern facilities and now is competing for one of the top spots.  Since this bank does not check the credit score from the credit agency, it accepts almost all customers irrespective of their score. This account also provides a free credit card (Prepaid Card) along with the account. Therefore, this is the easiest and the best option for someone new in Germany. Read more why it is the best account for a newcomer foreigner in Germany.

The current account of N26 is a modern free account at Wirecard Bank which is subject to German deposit insurance.  The N26 account is also called the smartphone account as it allows the use of the account using the smartphone.

  • Free modern checking account
  • Free Mastercard Credit Card
  • Free Worldwide cash withdrawal using Mastercard  (5 times per month for free account)
  • No Credit score checking or recorded
  • Smartphone settings (lock card / unlock with just one click)
  • English website
  • Transfer in real time with Transferwise
  • The account opening is the fastest in Europe – in just 8 minutes via Smartphone or online
  • Read more information about N26 account

Apply now

ComDirect

A worthy contender for the top spot, this is normally the bank of choice if you have not been in Germany for a long time.  If you have not been selected by DKB or you have not been living in Germany for long, it is suggested to try this account instead. It also gives a free Visa card with worldwide free withdrawals, free securities deposit account for investing in ETF and stocks.

  • Lifetime free bank accounthttps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/73/Comdirect-Logo.svg/800px-Comdirect-Logo.svg.png
  • Free Visa Credit card
  • Free cash withdrawal abroad
  • Free Securities deposit account (if you want to invest in ETF’s)
  • Free overnight money deposit account
  • Read More

 

Brick-mortar branch with a monthly income

Unfortunately there not many brick mortar branches which provide free bank account without a monthly income. However, if you do have a regular monthly income these banks provide good services and are highly recommended.

 

Commerzbankhttps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/49/Commerzbank_%282009%29.svg/1280px-Commerzbank_%282009%29.svg.png

  • Free bank account (€1200 monthly deposit )
  • English internet banking website
  • Free withdrawal at Cashgroup
  • Read More

 

PostbankLogo der Postbank

  • Free bank account (€1000 monthly deposit )
  • Visa Card (Free First year)
  • Free cash withdrawal abroad with Visa
  • Free withdrawal at Cashgroup
  • Read More

 

BankAccount Maintenance FeesAdditional CardsCash Deposit OptionsWithdrawal OptionsForeign Transaction CostsOnline Banking Facilities
Additional Benefits 
Com Direct
FreeFree Visa Card4 free cash deposit at Commerzbank (after €1.90)- Free in € currency with the girocard
- Free in all currencies with the VISA-Card (min. 50 € withdrawal)
Outside the € currecty 1.75% fee with the VISA card- BankingApp
- photoTAN App
- SmartPay App
- mobileTAN (free)
Free Depot Account
DKB
FreeFree Visa CardFree in DKB Branches only (very few)Free with the VISA-Card (min €50 withdrawal) [both DE and Worldwide.]Free worldwide- ChipTAN (€15 one time)
- BankingApp
- TAN2Go (free)


Benefits for Active Accounts ( monthly minimum deposit of of 700 €)
N26


FreeFree MastercardFree of charge 100 € / month with CASH26 at 7,000 trading partners- Free in Germany (5x / month)
- Free in € currency with the Mastercard
-1.7% fee in other currencies with the Mastercard
Free in all currency with the Mastercard- Fully Online Banking with Banking App, Payments by TouchID, Password and PIN
Consors Bank

FreeFree VISA-Card€ 7.50 per € 5,000, minimum € 1,000 deposit)- Free in € currency with the VISA-Card
- Free in supermarkets with the girocard
- 1.75% fee in other currencies with the VISA-Card (min. 50 € withdrawal)
- Free in € currency with the VISA card or girocard
- 1.75% in other currencies
- BankingApp
- Photo Transfer
-TAN Generator (onetime 10 €)
- mobileTAN (free)

List of Free Banks in Germany

Below is a list of all the free bank accounts in Germany, listed in alphabetical order. Check the list of German banks for opening a free German bank account (checking / current account).

1822direkt
Comdirect
Commerzbank
Cortal Consors
DAB-Bank
DKB Bank
HypoVereinsbank
ING DiBa
Netbank
Noris Bank
Postbank
Targobank
Volkswagen Bank

7 thoughts on “Best German Bank Account

  • David says:

    I want to open a free Girokonto account as well as a linked interest-bearing account for my savings. The ComDirect Girokonto looks attractive as do the Consorsbank Depotwechsel, PrivatBank and Lendico accounts but I can’t see how to link them or even whether it is possible to do so. I live abroad but in the EU. Can you help me please?

  • Alex says:

    Hi! I’m moving to Stuttgart this month and i’d like to know which could be the best bank (and account type) for me, some preferences are:

    -No monthly income required
    -No ATM fees
    -English speaking
    -Low international transfers fees (USA)

    Thanks!

    • Dominik says:

      Then I would recommend N26:
      – no monthly income required
      – no ATM fees
      – English speaking

      For international transfers I recommend to use TransferWise.

      Hope this helps!

  • hadi obaid says:

    dear sir
    I am Iraqi engineer , working and living in Dubai and I want to open off shore account at Germany bank , kindly advice us
    warm regards

  • Yvonne Nti says:

    I want to open an account and attracted to the internet banking since the requirements are low. However, wondering if N26 and Comdirect allows you to withdraw from any ATM? I read elsewhere N26 allows withdrawal from other ATMs 5 times a month. Also how do you make deposits into your account if you are using the internet banking since they dont have brick and mortar presence.

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